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The Difference Between a Grill, Barbecue, Brazier, and Smoker

Almost 500 years ago, people used to roast meat on woven wooden sticks over coals. Since then, outdoor cooking tools have changed a lot. Now you can choose between a brazier, barbecue, grill, or smoker.

5-Minute Crafts would like to tell you about how these devices are different so that you could choose the best option for you.

When cooking meat or fish using one of the following methods, you may want to add various marinades, sauces, or seasonings.

Marinades and barbecue sauces are great for grilling.

Dry spices are usually used for barbecuing, although they are also suitable for grilling.

Brazier

The design of a brazier is very simple. It is a metal box meant to hold coals. It has legs that are attached to it from below and a grate on top, on which foods are grilled at a coal temperature of about 2,000°F.

The box-like design on the legs allows air to circulate, thereby delivering oxygen to the coals. Today, a brazier is the most popular option of a charcoal grill, and it dates back to 824 BCE.

Grill

As a rule, grilling is food cut into small pieces and cooked hot and fast with no smoke. This method is suitable for cooking meat, seafood, vegetables, and fruit. There are electric, gas-fueled, and charcoal grills.

The main thing that sets a grill apart from other cooking methods is that it’s a quick way to cook food over direct heat. Typically, temperatures reach anywhere between 500°F and 550°F during this process.

Barbecue

Usually, larger pieces of food are used for barbecuing, and they’re cooked slow and low with the lid on. At the same time, temperatures are kept around 225°F, and the cooking process can take anywhere from several hours to a whole day.

A distinctive feature of a barbecue is that the heat source is connected to the chamber where the food is held, but the food is not directly over the flames like on a grill.

Ribs, pork shoulder, beef brisket, and whole chickens or turkeys are cooked with this method most often.

Smoker

You can smoke almost any food: fish, meat, sausage, cheese, fruit, nuts, etc. In a smoker, raw food is affected not only by heat but also by smoke. The optimum temperature range for hot smoking is 126°F to 176°F, while the cooking time can be from 1 to 24 hours.

There are stationary smokers and there are so-called smoker boxes, which are used as additions, like on a grill, for example.

Free-standing smokers consist of a compartment in which food is placed. But such devices heat up for quite a long time. Often, there are 2 cylinders: the food is cooked in a larger one, and the fire is kindled in a smaller one.

The advantage of a smoker box is that it can turn any grill into a smokehouse, just fill it with wood chips and place it over the grill burners. Holes in the lid allow smoke to escape, which gives the food a smoky flavor. Also, smoker boxes heat up much faster than stationary smokers. The important thing is that a smoker box should be regularly topped up with wood chips during smoking.

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